Bible: Lam 2

The Prophet Speaks:

2:1 א (Alef)

Alas! 1  The Lord 2  has covered

Daughter Zion 3  with his anger. 4 

He has thrown down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he did not protect 5  his temple 6 

when he displayed his anger. 7 

2:2 ב (Bet)

The Lord 8  destroyed 9  mercilessly 10 

all the homes of Jacob’s descendants. 11 

In his anger he tore down

the fortified cities 12  of Daughter Judah.

He knocked to the ground and humiliated

the kingdom and its rulers. 13 

2:3 ג (Gimel)

In fierce anger 14  he destroyed 15 

the whole army 16  of Israel.

He withdrew his right hand 17 

as the enemy attacked. 18 

He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; 19 

it consumed everything around it. 20 

2:4 ד (Dalet)

He prepared his bow 21  like an enemy;

his right hand was ready to shoot. 22 

Like a foe he killed everyone,

even our strong young men; 23 

he has poured out his anger like fire

on the tent 24  of Daughter Zion.

2:5 ה (He)

The Lord, 25  like an enemy,

destroyed 26  Israel.

He destroyed 27  all her palaces;

he ruined her 28  fortified cities.

He made everyone in Daughter Judah

mourn and lament. 29 

2:6 ו (Vav)

He destroyed his temple 30  as if it were a vineyard; 31 

he destroyed his appointed meeting place.

The Lord has made those in Zion forget

both the festivals and the Sabbaths. 32 

In his fierce anger 33  he has spurned 34 

both king and priest.

2:7 ז (Zayin)

The Lord 35  rejected 36  his altar

and abhorred his temple. 37 

He handed over to the enemy 38 

her palace walls;

the enemy 39  shouted 40  in the Lord’s temple

as if it were a feast day. 41 

2:8 ח (Khet)

The Lord was determined to tear down

Daughter Zion’s wall.

He prepared to knock it down; 42 

he did not withdraw his hand from destroying. 43 

He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;

together they mourned their ruin. 44 

2:9 ט (Tet)

Her city gates have fallen 45  to the ground;

he smashed to bits 46  the bars that lock her gates. 47 

Her king and princes were taken into exile; 48 

there is no more guidance available. 49 

As for her prophets,

they no longer receive 50  a vision from the Lord.

2:10 י (Yod)

The elders of Daughter Zion

sit 51  on the ground in silence. 52 

They have thrown dirt on their heads;

They have dressed in sackcloth. 53 

Jerusalem’s young women 54  stare down at the ground. 55 

2:11 כ (Kaf)

My eyes are worn out 56  from weeping; 57 

my stomach is in knots. 58 

My heart 59  is poured out on the ground

due to the destruction 60  of my helpless people; 61 

children and infants faint

in the town squares.

2:12 ל (Lamed)

Children 62  say to their mothers, 63 

“Where are food and drink?” 64 

They faint 65  like a wounded warrior

in the city squares.

They die slowly 66 

in their mothers’ arms. 67 

2:13 מ (Mem)

With what can I equate 68  you?

To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you 69 

so that 70  I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion?

Your wound is as deep 71  as the sea. 72 

Who can heal you? 73 

2:14 נ (Nun)

Your prophets saw visions for you

that were worthless lies. 74 

They failed to expose your sin

so as to restore your fortunes. 75 

They saw oracles for you

that were worthless 76  lies.

2:15 ס (Samek)

All who passed by on the road

clapped their hands to mock you. 77 

They sneered and shook their heads

at Daughter Jerusalem.

“Ha! Is this the city they called 78 

‘The perfection of beauty, 79 

the source of joy of the whole earth!’?” 80 

2:16 פ (Pe)

All your enemies

gloated over you. 81 

They sneered and gnashed their teeth;

they said, “We have destroyed 82  her!

Ha! We have waited a long time for this day.

We have lived to see it!” 83 

2:17 ע (Ayin)

The Lord has done what he planned;

he has fulfilled 84  his promise 85 

that he threatened 86  long ago: 87 

He has overthrown you without mercy 88 

and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;

he has exalted your adversaries’ power. 89 

2:18 צ (Tsade)

Cry out 90  from your heart 91  to the Lord, 92 

O wall of Daughter Zion! 93 

Make your tears flow like a river

all day and all night long! 94 

Do not rest;

do not let your tears 95  stop!

2:19 ק (Qof)

Get up! Cry out in the night 96 

when the night watches start! 97 

Pour out your heart 98  like water

before the face of the Lord! 99 

Lift up your hands 100  to him

for your children’s lives; 101 

they are fainting 102 

at every street corner. 103 

Jerusalem Speaks:

2:20 ר (Resh)

Look, O Lord! Consider! 104 

Whom have you ever afflicted 105  like this?

Should women eat their offspring, 106 

their healthy infants? 107 

Should priest and prophet

be killed in the Lord’s 108  sanctuary?

2:21 ש (Sin/Shin)

The young boys and old men

lie dead on the ground in the streets.

My young women 109  and my young men

have fallen by the sword.

You killed them when you were angry; 110 

you slaughtered them without mercy. 111 

2:22 ת (Tav)

As if it were a feast day, you call 112 

enemies 113  to terrify me 114  on every side. 115 

On the day of the Lord’s anger

no one escaped or survived.

My enemy has finished off

those healthy infants whom I bore 116  and raised. 117 

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